Growing up, I’ve been blessed with delicious Chinese double-boiled soups, steamed fish, stir-fried veggies and all that good ish in the comfort of my own home. It is no wonder why I am such a fan of the Soup Restaurant – a household name for distinctively home-cooked Chinese food!
Over here, private dining rooms are available for reservation, but I don’t think it’s necessary to make a booking unless you’re intending to head down with a large bunch of people. Though if you decide to visit on a weekend for lunch or dinner, do be prepared to wait it out as Soup Restaurant is hugely popular among families.
Service here was also slow as they were very busy when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon at 1pm. It didn’t help that the service crew was mostly Chinese and seemed a bit confused when assigning us tables or taking our orders.
The thing I love about Soup Restaurant is that they have an array of traditional Chinese dishes that are what you would expect your Mom or Grandma to cook – like their Poached Baby Spinach with Conpoy in Century and Salted Egg Stock ($12.90) – just executed in a more sophisticated manner. Their version of this dish had a robust, flavorful broth with hints of conpoy(dried scallops) and plenty of garlic which I LOVE. I just wished they served this in a claypot like how my family does it, because this tastes best when it’s piping hot.
Apart from familiar home-cooked dishes, Soup Restaurant also has plenty other items unique to them, such as this Hometown Tofu($8), which is made of freshly handmade tofu. Simple as it was, this dish left a lasting impression on me; the tofu that sat in a delicious soy sauce broth was fried to a gorgeous golden brown on the outside, yet hidden beneath was silky smooth, fresh, white tofu. All this topped with some greens and dried shrimp – brilliant.
Other interesting dishes include the Ah Kong Fan Shu Leaves and Ah Por Fan Shu Leaves(both $8.50). The difference between them is that Ah Kong is spicy and Ah Por is not. For those who don’t know, ‘Ah Kong’ and ‘Ah Por’ actually mean Grandpa and Grandma respectively. What cute names!
Of course, no meal here would be complete without trying the signature Samsui Ginger Chicken($15.90 for small), an item known to be synonymous to Soup Restaurant’s name. For those who are interested, this dish originated from the poor Samsui women in Chinatown who only got to eat this once a year.
It is steamed without much seasoning, and then dipped into a handmade ginger sauce, made with ginger and sesame oil. For those looking for a fresh, crunchy bite to balance out the oily sauce, lettuce leaves are provided for you to wrap the chicken in.
Considering this to be their most exclusive dish, it wasn’t quite as fantastic to me as the chicken was a tad dry, not as tender or moist as I wished it to be. The ginger sauce, however, was simply perfect. I would order this again just for the sauce!
With plenty of options and reasonable prices, Soup Restaurant is a good place to go with friends and family for authentic, homely Chinese fare. Just be sure you’re ready to wait for your food!
SOUP RESTAURANT (VIVOCITY)
1 HarbourFront Walk #02-141
Tel: 6376 9969
(Lunch: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm)
(Dinner: 5.30 pm – 10 pm)
(Sat, Sun, P.H.: 11.30 am – 10 pm)
Cuisine: Chinese(home-cooked style)
Average price per pax: S$15 to S$35
Recommendations: Hometown Tofu and Samsui Ginger Chicken